Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:58:17 -0700
I thought, before I started going to them, that weddings would be profoundly weird: Here would I be, the single girl, conspicuously opting out of the bouquet toss, having another whiskey at the bar as the inevitably bad DJ plays the inevitably bad slow dance. But over the last four years -- starting with Julie & Andrew in Gettysburg the day the final Harry Potter book came out, to Ben & Beth in Little Rock in a Catholic church half-full of atheists and/or Jews, to Olivia & Charlie in Haddonfield in antique lace, to Carlo & Francesca in Milan making do in a Debian t-shirt (him) and Cal sweatshirt (her) when their wedding clothes had been stolen -- it turns out weddings are about affirming one's friends' life choices and milestones, and affirming community. (And if there's a bouquet toss, there's still whiskey at the bar.) So I decline the +1 space on the RSVP card, dig out an opera-worthy dress from my ever-narrowing closet, and affirm through champagne all night long.
And so was Lulu & Zak's wedding this weekend in Bodega Bay: A moving ceremony, a beautiful English rose garden dripping with Pacific-coast heavy fog, jasmine, tealights, bright impractical footwear on the women, goat tacos, shots of carrot-kaffir-lime soup, dry sauvignon blanc, beauty, and friends. More babies -- and not only babies, but proper children, everywhere from 2 years to 14! -- than I'd ever seen at a wedding before; but then again, this crowd does have a few years on me, I suppose (but "a few" does not account for an adolescent son or daughter!). And though I felt that I should have felt thrown off, 30 and single and barren, instead as we affirmed Lulu and Zak's relationship, so did I feel affirmed, and happy in my own life choices.
"Happy," of course, is a perennieal understatement about these matters, this chronicle of my life in the city of pink houses and fresh vegetables and drinks (coffee; cocktails) made with love and good conversation. I may not be married, as are now 20 of my favorite couples; I may not have babies (I swear, they look cuter by the year), as did apparently half of Lulu & Zak's friends -- but oh, I have that new asparagus at Coi with Trisha, I have that eleventh-hour trip to San Antonio for Claire's recent 30th birthday (confetti-filled cascarónes and margaritas and all), I have this job that (despite occasional bullshit) lets me think, lets me do, and lets me stay here, in this city -- San Francisco, my love.
And I am yet more affirmed in that today: My bid on a house, not 150 feet down the block from the fickle house, was accepted! My agent called with the news when I was in Tahoe yesterday, up in South Lake on an annual-if-belated work ski trip. I blinked a lot into the phone, thanked him, walked into the room where those who acknowldeged that skiing, per se, was really just a pretense and were drinking Bloody Marys and coffee, and declared my news. Blinked a lot some more; bounced on a chair; showed pictures of the house on my phone (as one might those of a new baby) to all who would look. And it wasn't really until an hour or two later, when I'd jogged down a trail to the edge of Lake Tahoe, and was sitting on a bench at Pope Beach -- coarse, cold sand framing a perfectly blue lake, snowy mountains in the background and tall pines in the fore -- that I realized I was extremely happy. My bid had been accepted! I, not just any homeowner, but one in San Francisco, of [part of] a beautiful Victorian, in the best possible location! The shock of the news having worn off (and slight intrinsic terror at the commitment), I stared at the bright, blue, cold lake, and reflected that FUCK YES!!!
I have already mentally painted all the walls, and made little tins of cookies to take to my new neighbors. I should in reason defer this flutter of excitement until after all inspections this week, after the total termite and dry rot damage has been tallied and I know what I'm looking at, or negotiating for -- but ohhh, I can't help it, I'm picking out cabinets.
Affirmation of life choices, indeed!